Bazillion Points Books has announced the late 2010 release of Mean Deviation: Four Decades Of Progressive Heavy Metal, by Jeff Wagner - a former editor of Metal Maniacs magazine and veteran supporter of metal's most risk-taking bands.
Wagner analyzes the heady side of metal in this exhaustive history of a relentlessly ambitious musical subculture. The book features extensive original artwork throughout by VOIVOD drummer Michel "Away" Langevin, including the lavish front cover which can be viewed at left (click image to enlarge).
The book's foreword was penned by PORCUPINE TREE founder Steven Wilson. Revered in progressive rock circles, the multi-talented Wilson is also highly respected by metalheads as producer of three landmark OPETH albums.
As he writes: "In Jeff Wagner's Mean Deviation, we now have a definitive book on the relationship between metal and progressive music, and the myriad variation of styles that it has given rise to... In the meantime, metal continues to mutate and evolve, sometimes in the most unexpected ways, demonstrating that it is far from spent and is, in fact, the most flexible of musical forms."
Beginning with 1970s progressive rock acts RUSH and KING CRIMSON, Mean Deviation unfurls a colorful tapestry of sounds and styles, from the "Big Three" of 1980s prog metal - QUEENSRŸCHE, FATES WARNING, and DREAM THEATER - to extreme pioneers Voivod, WATCHTOWER, and ARCTURUS. As sparks of inspiration spread to obscure outposts in Scandinavia, Florida, and Japan, progressive metal burst into full creative flame with the successes of prog metal overlords Opeth, MESHUGGAH, TOOL, BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME and many others.
"One thing prog metal certainly is, is metal," Wagner continues. "Hard and bold and brash, but refined, adulterated, and mutated. Progressive metal is heavy metal taken somewhere illuminating and sometimes bizarre."
Weighing in at 400 pages, the heavily-illustrated book includes a 16-page color photo insert, a constellation of appendixes, and a full index. For more information, and to pre-order, visit this location.